Have you ever thought you would need a fortune before having your own self-hosted blog?
I once thought so!
Did you ever think you’ll need to be a “web-coding” expert before you could put your blog online?
So I did!
But what if there was a way you could build self-hosted blog right from scratch without any prior knowledge of HTML (Hyper Text Mark Up Language) codes or any other nerve-racking technical stuff.
Well, you are in luck because that’s exactly what I’m going to show (in this post) you in a step-by-step fashion with basic screen shots to guide you along.
Hold on … one second!
Let me tell you a quick story …
5 years ago, I was once like you, a total newbie who knew nothing about website designing neither did I have a blog.
I sought for advice and help from every nook and cranny on the internet: Google, Facebook groups, forums etc. without getting a helpful guide.
It was frustrating.
The worst part was that most so-called “experts” that I contacted were scammers themselves looking for ways to swindle newbies of their hard-earned cash.
Can you imagine?
Luckily for me, a mentor (I’ll forever be grateful) came to my rescue and offered to help me.
Fast forward to today, I’ve:
- Helped numerous newbies who new nothing about setting up a blog with this free step-by-step tutorial without paying a dime to any fat-bellied website designer. It’s one of the most popular posts on this blog. Also, my book: “The 5-Day WordPress School – How To Become A WordPress Website Designer In 5 Days” which is a #1 bestseller on Amazon.
- Succeeded in eliminating the fears and excuses of many individuals who want share their ideas, improve their financial situation and make money from their writing. (This was the main motive I had when launching SmartBloggingTips.website)
- Earned hundreds of dollars monthly from affiliate offers and by charging individual who want me to set up a blog or website for their various online businesses. This has enabled me to sustain myself, pay my bills and live my life.
I didn’t tell you this to brag or put myself up on a pedestal.
No, far from it.
I shared my story with you to motivate you and give you a sense of believe that: you too can do this!
No matter who you are: you can set up a blog for yourself and get paid doing so.
So if you intended to use your blog to launch a product, win clients, publish a book or make money online – you’re in for a great start.
Get this straight: I’m not talking of a free-hosted blog that comes with ugly, unprofessional and long url like www.yourwebsite.wordpress.com or www.yourwebsite.blogspot.com.
I mean a real blog just like the one you’re currently reading.
I know starting a blog on free platforms has become the norm especially for beginners.
But the truth is: most of these free platforms come with numerous downsides that will totally frustrate all your efforts.
Just incase, you didn’t know. When you host your blog on a free platform:
- Your blog can be deleted at anytime if you violate their ambiguous rules or their system bots mistakenly mark your blog as spam. On the 8th of October 2014, Linda Ikeji’s blog: www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com was deleted by Google because some brands filed complaints on how she violated their copyright images and posts. But luckily, her blog was later restored. Can you imagine?
- You can’t place adverts on your blog when you start getting traffic or do any form of affiliate marketing which is clearly stipulated in their terms and conditions, unless you’re willing to share 50% of your profits with them – that’s cruel and humane. They also place adverts on your blog that you can’t control, which means they make money from your content while you do all the suffering without earning a dime.
- You can’t use custom emails like Cyrus@Smartbloggingtips.website which will demean your credibility and make readers mark you as a spammer.
- You can’t use plugins and awesome premium themes to beautify, customize and create a cool template for your website. No wonder all free blogs looks alike.
- You are not really in control because you’re on a rented land and have to abide by the strict guidelines and restrictions. That’s why your blog’s url usually ends with the host’s name like myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com
In fact, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, summed this up in an interview with this conclusion:
“…When you host your site on WordPress.com, it’s like renting an apartment, as opposed to a self-hosted WordPress blog that you outrightly own.
With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can do anything you want. Knock down walls and redecorate it any way you want.
But you’re responsible for the upkeep as well (like security updates, feature upgrades…backups etc.). Where as with WordPress.com everything is done for you but you lose some control. You can’t have a yard; neither can you tear down walls …”
But if you are willing to get it right from the start and invest a few bucks to build an online business from your passion. You’ll definitely leverage the power of an online career to
1. Become your own boss
With a self-hosted blog, you are in full control and independent because you own your domain. This means you can monetize your blog according to your preference without going through any form of restriction or strict guidelines.
For example, I’m a website designer and I sell my competence to business owners, schools …etc. easily by showing them samples of website that I’ve built and make cool cash from it.
2. Customize your blog’s design
There are several thousands of themes and plugins available for use on a self-hosted blog for added functionalities and features.
No knowledge of coding is required, as most plugins comes with few-click-installation process to help boost your search engine optimization, improve your blog’s speed, embed a forum on your blog, create a membership site and other amazing features that is practically impossible to add on Blogger or WordPress.com.
You just pick up your thinking cap and you can do anything online with a self-hosted blog.
3. Boost your credibility
As you share valuable insights on your blog to your audience – this sends a positive signal to your audience that you know your stuff and positions you as an expert in your niche.
But a free-hosted blog tarnishes your credibility and makes people think you aren’t serious.
For example, if you are a new brand or own an e-commerce site, you can win the heart of new customers by leveraging blogging to your advantage above your competitors that just slap up traditional static web pages.
This will build your authority, make customers trust your services and willing to pay for it.
And you know the best part?
You don’t need to break the bank to get started with a self-hosted blog or website.
With just few bucks (about $12) and some clicks away – you can get started right away.
No overwhelming, complicated or nerve-racking codes to cram.
Just follow the steps below:
“Please note: If you get stuck while setting up your blog with the steps below, feel free to get in touch with me via Cyrus@Smartbloggingtips.website or +2348039185233 or leave a comment at the end of this post and I’ll more than willing to help you out.”
How To Start a Self-hosted WordPress Blog: The Basic Resources You Need to Know
Here are the four basic resources you need to start your website:
1. Domain name
This is the web address of your blog, which is what people will type into the browser to access your blog. For example, my domain name (of this blog you’re reading) is www.smartbloggingtips.website.
When choosing a domain name:
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember. (3 words is best)
- Avoid the use of dashes and vague symbols, as this causes confusion.
- A .com is most preferable because people are more familiar with it.
- Spend some time to decide a good name but don’t dwell on a perfect name.
To register a domain name, it would cost between $15 and $20 a year. But have no worries – I will show how to get it for free without paying a dime when you buy a web hosting account with my recommended web host. (I’ll show you how to go about it below)
I advice you read this post: How To Choose A Good Domain Name For Your Blog That Attracts Google’s Traffic, it contains 8 well detailed guidelines to choose a good domain name that ranks well in search engines.
Once, you’ve chosen a good domain name of your choice. It’s time to move to the next step (number 2 below) which is web hosting.
2. Web hosting
Web hosting simply means acquiring a space or home for your blog on the internet. Hosting your self-hosted blog requires a hosting package from a reputable web hosting company.
Without a web hosting service, your blog would be inaccessible and non-functional.
Below are basic features of a good web hosting service:
- Reasonable amount of disk space: Disk space is the web storage capacity (the content you add to your blog: posts, images, videos, banners …etc.) that has been specified for your blog. Godaddy the web hosting service I use for this blog, offers a whopping 100GB of disk space for starters which is very massive.
- Good monthly bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of data that has been allocated for different activities that will be carried out on your blog. These activities could be: when someone visits your site, opens a page, downloads your ebook or images, view your slideshows or watches a video on your blog…etc. So, choosing a good monthly bandwidth is very important in order to avoid it from being exhausted before the end of the month.
- User-friendly control panel: The control panel of your web host should be user-friendly and easy for beginners to navigate for easy access of the various tools, apps and services offered by the web hosting company.
- Effective technical support: A good rule of thumb is to patronize web hosts that offer a life-chat support system through which you can have a live chat session with one of their staffs whenever you encounter a problem. Most web host could be non-responsive to your issues, so choose your web host wisely.
Godaddy is the web hosting service I use for SmartBloggingTips and it’s quite a great service. Godaddy is a foreign web hosting company and I love their services because they give me:
- Efficiency: 99.9% uptime is not something many hosts can guarantee and provide.
- Speed: Interserver makes your website or blog load so fast and this helps to boost your search engines rankings and reduce the bounce rate of your blog.
- 24/7 customer service: Some hosts could be terrible when it comes to giving assistance to their customers. Some hosts could reply to emails after 3 days, when you’ve been totally frustrated and never bother to pick your call. I once had a challenge logging into my admin-dashboard and when I contacted Godaddy, it was fixed within some minutes. How soothing!
- Affordability: Despite all the great value it provides, Godaddy is one of the most affordable hosting providers you can find around. They are currently running a promo with an amazing discount, so you pay only $12 for the first year plus you get a free domain registration for life. Frankly, most reliable web host don’t come this cheap.
- Free website transfer: Most web host will charge you up to $100 for transferring your blog from another hosts to their server but Interserver value their customers so much that they offer this service for FREE.
- 30 days money back guarantee: Because of the quality of services they offer, they offer an iron-clad 30 days money back guarantee. This shows that they are confident of their services – so, you can just test-drive their service and if you’re not satisfied within 30 days, you can ask for a refund. You got nothing to lose.
- No Limits: You can host multiple websites on one account and unlimited e-mail accounts. In fact, with the deluxe plan: you can host up to three website with the plan without additional charge. Can you beat that?
Since, I’ve discovered the great service Godaddy offers, I’ve never had any issues with them.
Right now, Godaddy is running a promo which offers a hosting plan for $12 for the first year plus a free domain name registration for life.
Now, that’s awesome!
So grab this chance while it last. When you’ve decided your web host, it’s time to move to number 3 below…
3. Installing WordPress Content Management System
WordPress content management system is a blogging software that makes it possible for you to write on your blog.
This is exactly what I use for SmartBloggingTips. If you host your blog or website with Godaddy, you’ll definitely have no issues installing the WordPress software, as this took me 10 minutes to install the software on this very blog.
So how do you go about it?
In 3 easy steps, you can set up your own blog in 30 minutes or less (no prior knowledge is required).
Step 1: Get a hosting account from Godaddy by visiting their official website using this link which has a coupon code applied automatically (Don’t worry the link will open in another tab so you won’t lose this tutorial)
- Click on “Get Started” and you’ll be taken to the next page that has the list of web hosting plans that Godaddy offers:
1. Economy: This hosting plan is best for a basic website, especially if you’re just starting out, and allows only 1 website, unmetered bandwidth, 100GB storage, free Microsoft Office 565 Business Email and a free domain name for life. It costs £1.00 per month and comes with a 83% discount when you buy the annual plan.
2. Deluxe: This hosting plan is best for small business website and allows unlimited number of websites (which means you can host as many website as possible on this hosting plan without any issues or spending additional money for another hosting plan), unlimited bandwidth, unmetered storage, free Microsoft Office 565 Business Email and a free domain name for life. It costs £4.49 per month and comes with a 43% discount when you buy the annual plan.
3. Unlimited: This hosting plan is best for complex, high traffic sites small business website and allows unlimited number of websites (which means you can host as many website as possible on this hosting plan without any issues or spending additional money for another hosting plan), unlimited bandwidth, unmetered storage, free Microsoft Office 565 Business Email and a free domain name for life and free SSL certificate. It costs £6.99 per month and comes with a 46% discount when you buy the annual plan.
- Choose any hosting plan of your choice and it’ll take you to the next page (like the image below):
- Enter your domain name and click on “Search”. If it’s available, it’ll be displayed and if not choose another domain name and move to the next page.
- On the next page, you’ll be asked to create a new account on Godaddy. Just click on “Create Account”
- Enter your email, preferred username, password and support PIN (Please keep them safe and make sure you remember them because you’ll be asked for those details when you want to log into your Godaddy’s account, okay? Then, click click on “Create Account”.
- On the next page, enter your country, phone number, address, postal code, city and tax information. When you’re done click on “Save”
- On the next page, choose either Credit Card, Paypal or UnionPay to make your payment to complete your order. if it goes successfully, it’ll be displayed.
Congratulations, Godaddy will send you an email about your order which includes your web hosting and domain name registration details. (See image below)
- Just click on “Get Started” and you’ll be taken to the next page where you can enter your Username and Password to log into your Godaddy account.
- Enter your username and password to log into your account and click on click on “Cpanel Admin” to enter Cpanel admin dashboard of your hosting account.
- Scroll down and click on “WordPress Blog” under the “Web Applications” section.
- On the next page, click on “Install this application”
- On the next page, fill in the details as in the image below:
Here’s how I recommend you fill the details in the specific field:
- The protocol box should be http://
- The domain box should be your domain name.
- The directory box should be left empty.
- Fill your site name and site description.
- Uncheck “Enable Multiple (WPMU).
- Fill your Admin Username and Admin Password. This will be the details you’ll need to enter to log in to your WordPress Admin dashboard to write blog posts and make other necessary changes to your blog, so keep it safe. When choosing your Admin Email make sure it’s an email address you check frequently.
- Check the Limit Login Attempt (Loginizer) box. This helps to protect your site against brute force attacks by limiting the number of login attempts for your WordPress installation. If selected Loginizer plugin will be installed and activated with your installation.
Important Note: Do not choose “admin” or your domain name as your admin username because this is what hackers first try out when they intend to use brute-force to log into your website. Also, make sure your Admin Password is very strong.
- Click on it and fill the details as follows:
- Check the Update Notification box. This will ensure you receive email notifications whenever there is an update for the installation.
- Check the Auto Upgrade. This will ensure that this installation will be automatically upgraded to the latest version when a new one is available.
- Check Auto Update Plugins. This will ensure all the active WordPress plugins installed for this installation will automatically upgraded to the latest version when they are available.
- Check Auto Upgrade wordpress themes. This will ensure all the active wordpress themes for this installation will be automatically upgraded to the latest version when they are available.
- Check Automated Backups. This will ensure Softaculous will take automated back ups via CRON as per frequency you select.
- Choose 4 for Backup Rotation. If the backup rotation limit is reached, Softaculous will delete the oldest backup. The back ups will utilize your space so choose the backup rotation as per the space available on your server.
- Then choose any theme of your choice and finally click on “Install”.
- When the installation process complete, the next page should look like this:
If you’ve finally reached this stage, congratulations! You’ve just installed WordPress on your domain name.
Your administrative url is where you visit to make changes to your blog and add content.
Step 3: Login to Your Brand-New WordPress Site and Publish Your First Post.
It could be scary at first but the post doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be published.
So go ahead and share your thoughts to the whole world.
- Go to http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (Replace “yourdomain” with your domain name).
- Login with the username and password you chose when you installed WordPress in step 2 above.
- The next page displays the dashboard, which is the “back-end” (only you can access this) of your website from where you set everything that appears on the “front-end.”
- On the left side of your dashboard screen are menus. Position the mouse on “Posts” and click “Add New” from the sub-menus that will pop out.
- On the next page, enter the title of your post in the first tab and paste the content of your post in the second tab. Click “Publish”.
- On the next page, click “View post” to see the post you just published on the front-end of your website or self-hosted blog as it will appear to your visitor.
If you’ve successfully reached this stage, congratulations!
You can now start spreading your thoughts and website links to your friends, family and to the whole world in less than 30 minutes.
NB: The whole process above took me only about 9 minutes. But if you’re not familiar with steps, 30 minutes or less is fine for you.
Fun fact: Minutes after opening my web hosting account with Godaddy, they called me on phone, thanking me for using their service and offering to help if I have any challenge. How sweet!
If you encounter any challenge while following the above steps, you can leave a comment below or contact me at Cyrus@smartbloggingtips.website and I’ll be more than willing to help you out.
Can you afford to miss this?
The price is a special promo which may close at anytime. You have today. So go to Godaddy right away, if you think this is something you might need.
Affiliate Disclosure: This page contains my Godaddy affiliate link, which means when you purchase through the link, I get a commission (at no extra cost to you) to support my work and maintain this blog for a better user experience. But this didn’t influence my recommendation because I have personal experiences with them and genuinely trust their services. Thanks for your support!